Geoff and Ellie had flown in from Canada so they could celebrate with Ellie’s parents in the town of Taiping where they held a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony and banquet dinner for the family. Geoff’s folks flew down from Canada to enjoy the ceremonies and they were also joined by his brother and sister in law from Japan. Traditional Chinese weddings include giving of tea by the couple to all of their older relations, and receiving tea from their younger relations. It is a great way of getting to meet the family and understanding the relational links. The bride and groom also receive a lot of gifts, both jewelry and cash. This provides a good “kick start” to married life.
The dinner banquet had the traditional cake cutting, champagne popping and table-by-table yumseng. We rounded out the end of the night with a series of family group photos, one of which is shown below. With family group photos the secret is to work quickly, professionally, and be able to banter with the family to get everyone relaxed. And as always – shoot RAW for best results. We used a total of 6 flashes for these photos. Setting up that many lights quickly requires you to know your gear.
Four days later we all headed to Putrajaya where the legal technicalities of getting married in Malaysia were taken care of. Then we headed off to a nice location for a small private ceremony by the lake. I have to admit I was a bit concerned about this part of the day as it was going to be mid-morning, and the heat could have melted all of us…me included! Fortunately the sky was overcast, and a gentle breeze started which kept temperatures moderate. All in all it was very pleasant.
I know a lot of photographers like to see how we shoot a wedding. I have attended a few weddings where you see more of the photographer and video crew than the wedding couple!!!! There were 2 of us covering each of these days. Take note of where we were shooting from. One of us (my shooting buddy for +10 years)Â is way off doing long shots, while I am up “close”. I like to use the professional 70-200 f2.8 lenses for their versatility and reach as well as their quick focusing and sharpness. Do note where I am shooting from. It does mean I have to move around fairly rapidly (walking not running) but ensures I never block the family. Why stop the enjoyment of someone who flew thousands of miles so they could witness the wedding?
After the ceremony we did a quick series of family groups and some portraits before the weather closed in and it started to rain.